Also referred to as Ceramic, Glass or sometimes Nano coatings, these treatments applied correctly offer an additional level of protection over the painted surface they are applied on. They provide protection against extreme weather, road grit, UV, bird dropping and acid rain etc…. making it easier to maintain the paint job for a period of time.
Now the obvious question what is the time period? Not so fast, before that let us understand some key differences. Firstly, as you might expect, “ceramic” really means “ceramic” here, as the fire hardened clay. Not at all! In fact, most of them are made using silicon dioxide, which is what glass is made of, therefore the glass looking coat. In addition, they may contain some other inorganic substances depending upon the brand or the series from series from the same brand. That is why some brands offer 2 or 3 types with varying warranty periods, some are more hydrophobic than others, while others might have a better scratch, acid resistance or gloss level.
Polymer coatings sometimes confused with Ceramic coatings (sometimes deliberately), are easier to apply even available as a DIY product. Perhaps the proper name for these coating should be “Sealants”. One applied they offer a highly hydrophobic surface and gloss, are more heat resisting than waxes therefore offer a longer service life. The exact life depends upon the after care of the surface they are applied on and weather conditions, usual service life is between 6 to 12 months, however some manufacturers claim a much longer service life, I fail to understand how a thin film with less scratch resistance than true “Ceramic” coatings can last as long. I suppose if the surface is never exposed to the weather, you could claim a 3-to-5-year service life easily.
This subject can be explained over several pages if one is to do an in-depth explanation.
Difference between Ceramic coatings:
Difference between Ceramic coatings: This might sound confusing for the novice, so there is no need to read all this unless you are just interested to increase your knowledge. All Ceramic Coatings are not born identical. There are many “Ceramic” coatings available in the market at varying prices, they are made using a blend of silicone dioxide plus titanium dioxide and a blend of other inorganic compounds in an alcohol carrier solution, each one having its own formulation. Some do not use any of these materials, so stick to the known brands. Most brands boast a pencil hardness from 7 to 9H a few even 10H. However very few have an independent laboratory certificate to prove this claim. The coating thickness also varies, this plays a large part in the service life of the product. Some having a single coat thickness of 100 to 200 nano meters (nm) whereas others 700 to 900nm. Some coatings even use a two or three layer technology, with each layer having a specific purpose, bonding, hydrophobicity, gloss, scratch resistance etc… while others produce a very similar result with one coat, a difference might be visible to the absolute professional, but un-noticed by most car owners. Furthermore some require infra-red heat to cure while others cure at room temperature.
Professional and DIY ceramic coatings: While only professional detailers should apply ceramic coatings, as the surface preparation is the major step in the application process. If the surface is not prepared before application the defects in the paint will be amplified, if not cleaned, the ceramic coating will come off with that impurity. As with everyone else I too am prone to be biased and like one brand more than others having used it on my own vehicles and being satisfied with the result Nasiol ZR53 being one, (Among top 5 best ceramic coatings 2021 and 2022 by various automotive magazines) many manufacturers have also launched DIY ceramic coatings, which are easy to use and produce better and longer lasting results than waxes. They are spray and wipe coatings and can be used every couple of months as the coating thickness is less than the professional versions and are more forgiving in case of a mistake, as they are for DIY use. MOTHERS CMX is one such coating, with a 3 in 1 prep and coating ceramic.
PS: There is a series of ceramic coatings available for Leather, Fabric, Glass, Metal, Marble etc…. you may find these with this Link.